Monday, September 23, 2013

Amazon and One-Day Shipping

When talking about inventories and distribution centers, it is difficult to not mention Amazon. As one of the big powerhouses in this business, Amazon is famous for looking in at future investments rather than short-term profits. Recently, Amazon has opened many new distribution centers around the US. With this in mind, Amazon now has a one-day shipping option for select products. If Amazon can successfully implement the one-day shipping for customers by having distribution centers strategically placed around major US cities, it will become a business boom for them, as they will be able to offer a new variety of products available for their customers. Following this, other competitors, such as Walmart and eBay,  are following in suit. This maneuver is costly if not successful because one-day shipping requires additional inventory supplies and ready-to-go delivery service, which is a financial burden.

Along these lines, there are talks about 3-D printing helping with big e-commerce competition; it may especially be beneficial in this same-day shipping battle. Although it hasn't been implemented yet, if the technology and material become available, it may be a big cost-saver and also doable for same-day shipping.

There are a couple of questions that come into mind. If powerhouses such as Amazon successfully implements one-day shipping, what will be the effect on small businesses who are unable to afford one-day shipping? If 3-D printing becomes an influential factor in this, what will be the effect on supply chain itself? It will be quite interesting to see the effect on supply chain one-day shipping will cause.


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